Top Carboot Sale Buying Tips ♥

After my last carboot sale post, where I mentioned I made £100 selling, a lot of you were interested in knowing some tips on both buying and selling. So I thought I would put together a few pointers for you, so that you can maximise selling profits, aswell as finding yourself a bargain. I go to the Lidlington carboot sale in Bedfordshire, which is a very small one that starts late in the morning. If you want to find your local carboot sale, I recommend looking in your local newspapers. This post will outline the tips for buyers, keep your eyes peeled for my sellers post next!

Top Carboot Sale Buying Tips

Also, I just wanted to point out that just because someone enjoys a day out at the carboot sale, it doesn’t make them any different as a person to you if you don’t like boot sales. Do not judge them, they could be millionaires for all you know! I like to visit them for fun, and they’re great for vintage buys! It doesn’t mean people do all their shopping there, or they can’t afford anything else. You’re missing out on some great fun and bargains if you’re too snobby to give it a try 😉

Top Carboot Sale Buying Tips

Carboot Sale Buying Tips:

  • Time – try and get to the carboot sale as early as possible, so that you’re there to snap up the bargains before anyone else! Be prepared to get their early, carboots often open at 5/6am! My carboot sale charges £1 for early entrance, but it’s worth it.
  • Take – I always like to take with me a few essentials; sunglasses for if it’s sunny, and a bottle of drink. But don’t drink too much, unless you want to visit the portaloo!
  • Wear – dress casually, and make sure you wear appropriote footwear. It might be muddy, dusty, or spikey grass!
  • Bags – Take a large canvas bag with you to fill up with goodies rather than accepting lots of tatty carrier bags. Don’t take your regular large handbag filled with stuff, you don’t need it. Don’t even bring your normal purse, all you need is coins!
  • Change – ensure you take plenty of change with you, this is a great opportunity to spend your piggy bank coins! However, sellers don’t want to give you all their change when you hand over a £20!
  • Be polite – say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to each seller, and SMILE! They might give you a better deal if you’re sweet!
  • Ask questions – if you want to know about an item, feel free to ask them!
  • Don’t be afraid – don’t be scared to talk to sellers, they love a chat!
  • Haggling – I very rarely haggle, but don’t be afraid to. Sometimes I will suggest something like ‘these three for £2?’ if I’m buying more than one item from them. People expect it at carboot sales. But don’t expect something for nothing every time! Also, if something is overprices, try going back later on, as they may have reduced the price towards the end of the day.
  • Touching – people don’t like you picking up and prodding/opening every single item and then not buying anything! Feel free to look and investigate, but don’t potentially ruin their items. I’m referring to people constantly prodding my eyeshadow palettes and spraying my perfume with no intention of buying! 
  • Keep safe – Carboot sales can be a great place for pickpockets and theives. I wear a over the shoulder small handbag, with my change zipped inside. Always keep an eye on your belongings.
  • Weather – Hot, sunny days means that the carboot sales will be brimming with bargains! More sellers come out when the weather is good.  
  • Business cards – why not take a few blog business cards along with you? You never know when you might meet a like-minded girl, or a vintage clothing seller that may be interested in you. 
  • Plan – Maybe try and keep your eye open for things you know you need to buy. For example, I always keep my eyes open for tea sets, and womens clothings. Try not to buy things you don’t need or won’t fit you (unless you’re a dab hand on the sewing machine, of course.) Avoid impluse buying. You don’t need it just because it’s cheap!
  • Have fun – some days you will feel like you won the jackpot, other days you may come home with nothing. But it’s all a bit of fun in the end, don’t give up! Maybe try a few different carboot sales. And don’t be ashamed to be there, there’s nothing wrong with it.
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other tips.


  1. August 8, 2012 / 12:23 pm

    Great post. I love looking round carboots but I need to find a better one than my local one there is never anything good to be found its just full of all tatty bric a brac.

  2. August 8, 2012 / 12:27 pm

    I try to go to my local boot sale most Sundays during the holidays. I don't always find any good bargains but it gives me a reason to get up in the morning and there's never much else to do on Sundays anyway! A few things I have bought are One Tree Hill box sets, a picture frame which I then painted to match my room and other small bits and pieces. Mostly I go in search of vintage cameras!

  3. August 8, 2012 / 12:33 pm

    I love this post!
    I am a regular to my local carboot sale but obviously every single one is different and you have no idea what you're going to find 🙂
    I've made a few posts about what I've found at the carboot sale, most things 50p or £1!
    I love the idea of taking business cards too!

  4. August 8, 2012 / 12:53 pm

    While you say about the importance of time, you do miss out how you can get even better bargains when people are packing up to go home and they don't want to lug all the stuff that hasn't sold. It's as good to go as late as you can just as much as how early you can go.

  5. August 8, 2012 / 1:20 pm

    Some really great tips!! I love carboots, you're more likely to grab a bargain there, compared to charity shops where things can be overpriced! xx

  6. August 8, 2012 / 2:15 pm

    I love this post, thank you for sharing your tips, Victoria! I love carboots too, if you look carefully there are always some really good deals to be had 🙂 xxx

  7. August 8, 2012 / 2:48 pm

    I've never been to a carboot but I'm planning on going sooner rather than later, so I'll definitely bear your tips in mind when I'm looking to pick up some bargains (: xx

  8. August 8, 2012 / 4:35 pm

    Great tips, I can't wait for the selling tips as Im hoping to sell some things in 2 weeks xx

  9. August 8, 2012 / 5:34 pm

    Great tips.

    Which Carboots do you go to, as i actually live near Milton Keynes?

  10. August 8, 2012 / 8:16 pm

    These are great tips! Annoyingly, I can't seem to find a car boot near me, I'll have to go when I visit my parents as there are some amazing ones up there! x

  11. August 8, 2012 / 8:52 pm

    I love going to the car boot sale, even if I don't manage to find anything that takes my fancy I love just having a nose at peoples bits and bobs, its also a trip down memory lane with all the old games and toys which come out at them. I have been meaning to go with my mum soon to have a stall as I am moving out shortly I have so much stuff that I just need to get rid of and eBay can be so time consuming and what with the fees these days its sometimes not worth it. Thanks for sharing this, another great post!


    beckys makeup

  12. August 9, 2012 / 11:05 am

    At the risk of sounding sooooo American… what exactly is a car boot sale? I can't tell if the term is literal or figurative. So far, I've been imagining it as the equivalent of a flea market, but flea markets here tend to be more antiques, with the only clothing being vintage.

    xo Julie
    ♥Julie Rose Sews♥

    • August 9, 2012 / 12:15 pm

      lol Julie.. sorry I forgot you didn't have them in the USA! I think it's like you have 'garage sales', but everyone fills up their car with their unwanted stuff, then drives into a field, sets it out on tables, and sells it all 🙂 Its not just antiques (rarely is!) it's more like homeware, toys, clothes etc. A bit like ebay. xo

  13. August 9, 2012 / 2:20 pm

    Thanks for the comments girls 🙂 glad you enjoyed my tips x

  14. August 9, 2012 / 4:42 pm

    This might be a silly question but how do you know where and when all the boot sales are happening?

  15. August 9, 2012 / 6:56 pm

    This is a good post – me, my sister and my dad are carboot veterans! We used to go all of the time. Not so much now, but we still take a good car full of stuff at least once a year when it starts to build up! x
    Island Girl Insights ♥

  16. August 10, 2012 / 1:47 pm

    This is such a great post, thanks for the fabulous tips! Car boot sales are the best! XxxX http:/

  17. January 3, 2013 / 3:03 am

    This buying tips was really nice and I think it will work. I will recommend this to my friend who is planning to buy a property . Big thanks on this.

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